Researchers of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) from Elche, in collaboration with the company Vega Scorza, have developed a liqueur, produced exclusively from organic lemons from the Vega Baja, without any additive and that retains all its properties after bottling. The project, led by the professor of the Department of Plant Production and Microbiology of the UMH Pilar Legua, has managed to develop a new version of this drink with a novel feature: keep essential oils, both from the rind of the fruit and its leaf, which is also used in the production process.

The UMH research team is also made up of the professor from the Department of Agri-Food Technology of the UMH Ángel Carbonell, as well as members of this Department and that of Professor Pilar Legua. After months of work, they have managed to find the ideal formula for the production of two modalities: a 40º lemon liquor and another 20º, each of them with their corresponding characteristics and advisable to take before or after meals.

Added value to lemon production

As explained by the UMH Legua researcher, “the idea arose in response to the concern of Javier Vidal, executive director of Vega Scorza, to give added value to the production of lemon from Vega Baja. Murcia and Alicante concentrate more than 85% of lemon production in Spain, production that is exported fresh mostly, but there is a great vacuum in terms of liqueurs produced with this fruit in origin. After the initial approach, we saw the possibility of making a liqueur with fruit from this region, grown organically and without any type of additives, something totally new and which makes the final product unique and unrepeatable. ”

Thus, Vega Scorza is a lemon liqueur produced exclusively with lemons from organic farming in the Vega Baja. In the elaboration process, both the fruit and the leaf of this fruit tree are used, something in which the proximity of the raw material to the winery where the liquor is made also plays a fundamental role, since it allows use freshly picked lemons, which affects the characteristics of the final product. As the UMH professor has pointed out, “one of the premises when starting the project was that all the ingredients should be natural, without preservatives or dyes, which confers a unique and genuine flavor”.

For its elaboration, the Fino and Verna lemon varieties are used, from certified organic cultivation and without any post-harvest treatment. “La Vega Baja concentrates most of the Spanish production of this citrus. This allows the availability of raw materials throughout the year, which is why freshly collected organic lemons are used at all times and without any conservation. In this way, the essential oils of the bark remain intact, providing a very characteristic freshness to the product, “concluded Pilar Legua.

The joint work between the UMH and Vega Scorza continues with several open lines of research in order to take advantage of the parts of the lemon not used in the production of the drink and its application in other areas such as that of cosmetics.

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